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Health Econ. 2018 Jan;27(1):39-49. doi: 10.1002/hec.3606. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

In search of a common currency: A comparison of seven EQ-5D-5L value sets.

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Institute of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.
Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.


The recently published EQ-5D-5L value sets from Canada, England, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, and Uruguay are compared with an aim to identify any similarities in preference pattern. We identify some striking similarities for Canada, England, the Netherlands, and Spain in terms of (a) the relative importance of the 5 dimensions; (b) the relative utility decrements across the 5 levels; and (c) the scale length. On the basis of the observed similarities across these 4 Western countries, we develop an amalgam model, WePP (western preference pattern), and compare it with these 4 value sets. The values generated by this model show a high degree of concordance with those of England, Canada, and Spain. Patient level data were obtained from the Multi-Instrument Comparison project, which includes participants from 6 countries in 7 disease groups (N = 7,933): The WePP values lie within the confidence intervals for the value sets in Canada, England, and Spain across the whole severity distribution. We suggest that the WePP model represents a useful "common currency" for (Western) countries that have not yet developed their own value sets. Further research is needed to disentangle the differences between value sets due to preference heterogeneity from those stemming from methodological differences.


EQ-5D-5L; preference weighting; western preference pattern


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